Friday, June 21, 2002

(with apologies to PJ O’Rourke)

I’ve taken a deep breath since yesterday, difficult as it is when the images pouring through the pipe make you want to dump work, grab a taxi, yank your kids out of class and home-school them until they wig out and run away with the Domino’s delivery boy.

Another day, another baby killer. When this happens in south East Asia, returning soldiers get spat on. When it happens in Jerusalem, it’s Wheel of Fortune time for the families of the killers.

I want to be clear about a few things. Killing children is CHOSEN as the best path to take. There is not a single Palestinian who can’t lay their grubby paws on an AK-47, and more ammo than they can carry. They physically can’t get more than an hour’s walk from an Israeli checkpoint, which come conveniently supplied with ample targets. Any of these cretins could make their way right up close to all the enemy soldiers they want, and start firing. Guaranteed martyrdom, paradise facilities, would you like a Virgin with that?

So why don’t they? Two reasons:

One, because it will hurt like hell. Soldiers are rude people, they tend to shoot back. You’ll probably still make it to the Garden, but only after you bleed out for an hour or two. Worse, you might not die, which in the litterbox that is Palestinian values, means your family gets less approval.

And two, because they think it’s preferable to murder women, kids, houses and villages. Someone told them it’s acceptable. There is no difference to jumping on a school bus and pulling the detonator cord, than to taking an entire school hostage, and shooting the children one by one until your demands are met. None. The only reason Hamas and their fellow statesmen don’t do it is because they’re afraid of alienating their Western support base.

They know that if it happened like this, support would fall. What if they got control of an entire settlement. Every three hours they drag some screaming parent or child to the front door, wait for the cameras to zoom in tight, and them blow them away? Even going 24/7, this would last ten fucking days. Can you imagine Chomsky/Patten/Rall/Moore/Adams trying to maintain for TEN FUCKING DAYS? Can you visualise the screaming, ravening mob that will find these collaborators in their homes, their lecture rooms, and their radio booths. Can you imagine what would happen to them when they tried to explain pitchfork-wielding villagers that after ten days of round the clock killing, IT’S STILL NOT MURDER, IT’S STILL SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT, THAT THESE PEOPLE WTILL HAVE TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT. Frankly, I’d pay to see it.

There is talk around the water cooler of giving the Palestinians their own state, or some watered down version of it. Let’s stop and consider just what kind of a nation we can expect to see emerge from the Palestinian Authority.

I’ve even picked out a name: The Republic of Gangstaland.

There will be no rule of law, anywhere. Arafat has shown he cannot or will not control the militias, so they will carve out their turf, and defend it as viciously as any street gang .

Investment will fall to nil, as incomes plummet due to an Israeli boycott of Palestinian workers. Arbitrary “taxes” will be imposed by anyone with a gun and three blocks to defend. Protection rackets will thrive, with routine firefights between rival warlords.

Disease will increase when the UN pulls out and stops maintaining water and sewage facilities. Third generation camp dwellers will demand land and housing, and it won’t be there. Arab nations will withdraw support, fearing the menace of educated, angry Palestinians who might start to question why their Arab brothers did fuck-all for them for fifty years. Schools will close for lack of money, and because the streets are a free-fire zone.

An effective kleptocracy will prevail, as International criminals swiftly appreciate the first modern nation where literally everything is up for grabs. State-owned plant and equipment will be sold off for cash, donated food supplies will mysteriously disappear. The only hard-currency income comes from selling passports and citizenship, and from banking facilities that make the Cayman Islands look like a Presbyterian accountant.

Deprived of the obvious targets of Israelis, young frustrated Palestinians men will turn on each other, and them on the authorities. Civil war follows, accompanied by its trusty sidekicks, famine, disease and death. Refugees attempting to flee are shot while trying to cross into Lebanon and Jordan. The UN cannot guarantee the safety of their relief workers, and refuses to enter. Malnutrition is replaced by starvation is some quarters.

Then we move in. The US reconstructed Japan from one of the world’s most ambitious, warlike societies in the world, with a well-established cult of suicide, to the richest, most democratic Asian nation the world has ever seen. In Australia, we have cattle stations bigger than the proposed Palestinian state: how hard can it be?

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